Wednesday, March 22, 2023
HomeCauseCan Lupus Cause Lower Back Pain

Can Lupus Cause Lower Back Pain

Pain Pain Go Away The Chronic Pain Of Lupus

Low Back Pain Relief for lupus | Lupus Health Shop | Lupus Life Hacks

With lupus, pain can hit any part of the body and at any time, and chronic pain can make day-to-day life difficult. So, what can you do? Read on to learn more about the many kinds of pain associated with lupus, how they are diagnosed and what can be done to treat them.


Chronic pain can feel like you carry the weight of the world on your shoulders . Your head may pound, your lower back may ache, or things may just hurt for what seems like no logical reason whatsoever. It often feels like you can never escape the pain. While you may want to retreat to a deserted island to lie on the sand and watch the waves roll in, you cant exactly escape yourself the pain is always there with you wherever you go.

But there is a logical reason, in fact, many logical reasons, why you may experience the chronic physical pain that comes with lupus. Knowing why the pain is there and being able to adequately express exactly how you feel to your healthcare practitioner or anyone you trust, can put you on the road to some relief.

This article serves as an overview of some of the common types of pain that often comes with lupus. It is not inclusive of all the types of pain an individual with lupus may experience. We have included links to a few of our other blog articles that provide more information about specific types of pain such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, and Raynauds Phenomenon.

Why do I hurt so much?

Types of Pain, Diagnostics, and Treatment



How Can Parents Help

Lupus is a chronic disease, but treatments can help with symptoms and lower the risk of flare-ups. New and better tools to diagnose and treat lupus have improved the lives of those living with the disease.

To help your child manage:

  • Go to all doctor visits and follow the care team’s instructions.
  • Learn what symptoms mean a flare-up may be coming. Calling the doctor right away and starting medicines may stop the flare-up or make it less severe.
  • Talk to school staff to help them understand what your child needs.

It also helps to learn all you can about lupus with your child. The care team is a great resource. You also can find information and support online at:

Lupus And Mental Health

Depression and anxiety are a risk for people with lupus. This may be the result of the condition’s affect on the nervous system combined with the emotional strain of coping with a chronic illness. Be sure to discuss any concerns about your mood with your doctor or other health care provider. There are highly effective treatments for depression and anxiety.

Read Also: How To Relieve Sciatic Nerve Pain In Lower Back

Other Problems In The Urinary System

In addition to lupus nephritis, lupus and lupus treatments can increase your risk for other problems in the urinary system :

  • Urinary tract infections
  • Lupus cystitis

The most common symptom of UTIs and lupus cystitis is peeing more often than usual. Your doctor can do tests to find out whether problems in your urinary system are caused by lupus or by a medicine youre taking to treat lupus.

Take Steps To Protect Your Kidneys

Lower Back Pain, Chronic Inflammation, &  Lupus

Making healthy food and beverage choices can help protect your kidneys and manage the symptoms of lupus nephritis and other kidney problems.

Try these steps:

  • Eat less sodium to help control your blood pressure and reduce swelling
  • Eat smaller portions of foods with a lot of protein, like meat and dairy
  • Cut back on foods with saturated fats, like butter and fatty meats
  • If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation
  • Work with your doctor to control your blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol

If you have severe kidney problems, you may also need to limit the amount of fluid you drink or the amount of certain minerals in the foods you eat. Work with your doctors to make a plan thats right for you.

Regular use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , like ibuprofen, can cause kidney damage. If you have kidney problems, talk with your doctor about ways to treat your lupus-related inflammation without using NSAIDs.

You May Like: What Insoles Are Best For Lower Back Pain

Nyu Langone Health Researchers Are Leading Efforts To Help Identify & Treat Those Who Are Most Susceptible To This Debilitating Autoimmune Disease

At NYU Langone’s Lupus Center in Manhattan, Dr. Jill Buyon examines her patient Sabina Batista during a follow-up visit.

For years, Sabina Batista had symptoms doctors could not explain: periodic swelling in her left leg, lower back pain, and a strange tingling sensation in her fingers and toes. The 28-year-old social services case manager from Yonkers, New York, recalls that physicians routinely dismissed or misdiagnosed her health complaints until 2016, when she was finally diagnosed with lupus. The incurable and potentially life-threatening autoimmune disease triggers bouts of inflammation and attacks the bodys tissues and organs. In Batistas case, it had begun to assail her kidneys.

For mysterious reasons, lupus hits some people harder than others. Of the estimated 1.5 million Americans afflicted by the disease, most are women of childbearing age. Studies have shown that black women are about three times more likely to suffer from lupus than white women. Now, research published recently by rheumatologists at NYU Langone Health suggests that lupus also takes a heavy toll on Asian and Hispanic women. Theyre two of the fastest-growing populations, but data regarding their risk for lupus has been limited, says rheumatologist Peter M. Izmirly, MD, the studys lead author.

Rheumatologists at NYU Langone Health have found that lupus is not only more prevalent among women of color, but also much more aggressive.

Does Lupus Cause Back Pain

In medicine, itis not uncommon for two events to both be true, yet not related. This means thateach has a defined cause and that they are occurring together. However, they arein fact independent conditions. Here is an excellent example from a questionthat I was asked the other day by a viewer that involves illness in a patientwith lupus .

The viewer asked, “I heardthat the spine is not involved in lupus. Is this true, and if so, why? Does this mean that my neck and back pain are due to something else?”

Here is my response: Lupus isan immune disease that can attack many internal organs and tissues. The classicparts of the skeleton that can be affected by the inflammation of lupus are theperipheral joints – the joints away from the spine, such as the small joints ofthe hands and feet, the wrists, knees, elbows, ankles, and shoulders. Lupus commonly causes arthritis in these joints. The spine is generallyspared from the inflammation of lupus.

Recommended Reading: Which Is Better For Back Pain Aleve Or Tylenol

Lupus Signs Symptoms And Co

Lupus affects everyone differently, but certain signs and symptoms are common. In addition, other conditions, such as fibromyalgia, occur commonly in people with lupus but are not directly due to disease activity. These co-occuring conditions are known to doctors as comorbidities. Several signs, symptoms, and comorbidites of lupus are detailed below.

Can I Get Pregnant If I Have Lupus

Common Lupus Myths: Lupus Causes Widespread Pain

Women with lupus can get pregnant. However, there is a risk of poor pregnancy outcomes in people with lupus. If youre considering a future pregnancy, start talking to your healthcare provider several months in advance during a preconception appointment. Your provider may need to adjust your lupus medications to ensure that theyre safe for pregnancy.

Read Also: Why Is My Lower Back Pain Getting Worse

Why Does Lupus Cause Hair Loss

One of the complications of lupus can be damage to your skin and hair loss. People with lupus can develop scarring on their skin and scalp from rashes. This can cause your hair to thin and fall out. You could also experience hair loss as a side effect of some medications that treat lupus hair loss can be a side effect of steroids. If your hair is thinning or falling out, talk to your healthcare provider. Sometimes, changing your medications can help with this issue. Your provider might also recommend using gentle shampoos .

Lupus And Lower Back Pain Due To Rheumatoid Arthritis

The potential causes of lower back pain in lupus patients vary greatly. For some patients, lupus and lower back pain owe their coincidence to rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is not caused by lupus. But it does sometimes coincide with lupus. This is not surprising. Both lupus and rheumatoid arthritis are autoimmune inflammatory diseases. It seems likely that a patient who is vulnerable to developing one of these conditions also has a higher than average vulnerability to developing the other.

Rheumatoid arthritis can affect the vertebral joints of the spine. If the condition develops to an advanced stage, the joints can deteriorate, resulting in the compression of the nerve roots or of the spinal cord. The result is pain. Such pain may occur in the neck, or may radiate into the legs or arms. Additionally, it may present as lower back pain. Lupus patients with this condition may also experience headaches.

You May Like: Are Injections For Back Pain Safe

Lupus And Heart Problems

The most common heart problem linked to lupus is an inflammation of the sac around the heart. This may cause severe pain in the left side of the chest. People with lupus are also more likely to develop plaques that narrow or clog the arteries. This can lead to coronary artery disease. Other complications include heart valve disease and inflammation of the heart muscle. Call 911 immediately for chest pain, rather than trying figure out the cause yourself.

Iii Joint Pain Unrelated To Lupus Arthritis

Hip Pain: Is It Fibromyalgia or is it a Different ...

Not all joint pains are due to lupus. Other conditions that need to be considered include the following:


refers to the death of bone tissue . Depending on its severity may either cause no symptoms, cause significant joint pain, and/or often collapse of the bones.

This condition is relatively common in lupus , but does not relate to the disease activity. In fact, osteonecrosis often happens when the lupus is quiet. It is often attributed to long-term use of high doses of glucocorticoids.

The most common joints to be affected are the hips , followed by the knees and shoulders. The diagnosis is often made by a plain . However, in early stages an MRI is necessary to show the problem.


Early stages may benefit from conservative therapy including pain medication and limited weight bearing. In more advanced disease, surgery is required. In cases of hip bone collapse, will need to be performed.

Osteoporotic Bone Fracture

may occur in lupus due to the disease or the medications used .

Usually, patients complain of sudden pain in a localized area of the spine, sometimes after only minimal trauma. X-rays will usually show the fracture as a compression of a vertebra. Sometimes MRI will be necessary for subtle cases. Fractures may also involve long bones such as the hip.





Also Check: How Can I Heal My Lower Back Pain

What Is The Lupus Rash

A skin rash is one common symptom of lupus. Rashes from lupus are often from prolonged sun exposure, and usually last days to weeks. You can have a rash on your face, hands or wrists. When you have a rash on your face, it typically extends across the bridge of your nose and onto each of your cheeks. This is often referred to as a butterfly rash because of the shape across your face.

Skin rashes can be uncomfortable and itchy. These rashes can sometimes fade after a short period of time. However, some rashes and sores on your skin can be permanent.

The Confusion Between Sciatica And Arthritis Pain From Lupus

The most common form of pain associated with lupus is pain from arthritis. Although sometimes confused with each other, sciatica and arthritis pain are actually very different. Sciatica is a form of radicular pain due to a pinched sciatic nerve. This kind of pain should only be experienced exclusively at the back of the leg, not in front or side.

Arthritis pain, on the other hand, is dull and achy. The intensity of the pain may vary and the pain can be experienced in the back as well as in other parts of the leg.

Don’t Miss: How To Help Lower Back Pain During Pregnancy

Skin Rashes And Lesions

While many people often associate lupus with the facial butterfly rash, the reality is lupus can cause a variety of skin rashes and lesions, most of which appear on sun-exposed areas like the face, ears, neck, arms and legs. According to the Lupus Foundation of America, 66 percent of people with lupus develop some sort of skin disease.

There are three main types of cutaneous lupus:

  • Chronic cutaneous lupus. Discoid lupus causes round, disc-shaped lesions that are red, scaly and thick. The lesions usually dont hurt, but can be photosensitive and lead to scarring.
  • Subacute cutaneous lupus. This type causes areas of red, scaly skin with distinct edges or red, ring-shaped lesions. These lesions are also photosensitive.
  • Acute cutaneous lupus. This type most commonly produces the butterfly rash areas of red skin that resemble a sunburn. This rash often appears on the nose and cheeks but can appear elsewhere on the body.
  • Youre Young And You Have Unexplained Pain In The Heels Joints Or Chest

    What Can Stop Lupus Pain Without Medication: SLE

    Instead of back pain, some AS patients first experience pain in the heel or pain and stiffness in the joints of the wrists, ankles, knees, or other joints.

    Some patients rib bones are affected at the point where they meet the spine or where the ribs meet the sternum . This can cause tightness in the chest that makes it hard to breathe.

    Talk with your doctor if any of these conditions occur or persist.

    Recommended Reading: Why My Lower Back Hurts All The Time

    Your Pain May Come And Go But Its Gradually Moving Up Your Spine And Its Getting Worse

    AS is a chronic, progressive disease. Although exercise or pain medications may help temporarily, the disease may gradually worsen. Symptoms may come and go, but they wont stop completely.

    Often the pain and inflammation spread from the low back up the spine. If left untreated, vertebrae may fuse together, causing a forward curvature of the spine .

    This can be avoided if the condition is diagnosed early and treatment is started.

    What Are The Different Types Of Lupus

    There are several different types of lupus. Systemic lupus erythematosus is the most common. Other types of lupus include:

    • Cutaneous lupus erythematosus: This type of lupus affects the skin cutaneous is a term meaning skin. Individuals with cutaneous lupus erythematosus may experience skin issues like a sensitivity to the sun and rashes. Hair loss can also be a symptom of this condition.
    • Drug-induced lupus: These cases of lupus are caused by certain medications. People with drug-induced lupus may have many of the same symptoms of systemic lupus erythematosus, but its usually temporary. Often, this type of lupus goes away once you stop the medication thats causing it.
    • Neonatal lupus: A rare type of lupus, neonatal lupus is a condition found in infants at birth. Children born with neonatal lupus have antibodies that were passed to them from their mother who either had lupus at the time of the pregnancy or may have the condition later in life. Not every baby born to a mother with lupus will have the disease.

    Don’t Miss: How To Remedy Lower Back Pain

    I Was Lucky To Escape With My Children And My Mana My Power My Passion My Fiery Warrior Spirit

    What I could not escape was the fact that I had a chronic illness. My life would now include a ridiculous number of medications with a full symphony of side effects.

    I try to get through the morning, then I try to get through the afternoon, then I try to go to sleep at night. This is my daily routine of pain management, literally just trying to get by. I mean I meditate, I go for walks, I do Yoga when my body isnt in a full rebellion. I try to stretch out my muscles, I take warm baths, I use ice packs for migraines and wraps for joint pain. I put Icy Hot on my left hip and lower back every night and have for over 18 months now. My pain management varies by the hour, and the cost of visits to the doctors for pain management alone can be sky-high.

    When Did The War On Drugs Become A War On The Disabled

    Lower Back Pain, Chronic Inflammation, &  Lupus

    If youre going to take away my painkillers, then give me a better one that isnt highly addictive and killing people. But if we are going down this road, then you need to start addressing abuse for what it is its own disease. Please leave me and my disease alone until youre ready to actually get serious about pain management. Its real and we do need better options.

    I seriously hesitated to bring this up, 1. because I myself have love/hate relationship with them, but 2. out of fear. Pain management is a bit of a taboo subject and I always worry it makes me sound weak. As if, since I cant handle it through other remedies, I am not as good of a person. But you know what? I am a good person and no one on this planet has ALL of the answers. We will never find a single answer if we do not start talking about it.

    Someone other than myself and my Dr. made a decision to put my body at risk of another flare-up. I cant even begin to understand why. Is it so that we as a society can pretend that addiction isnt a mental health issue? Is it that the medical industry has been pushing highly addictive and dangerous medicines on the chronically ill? You know, as much as I want a cure for the future and a better painkiller tomorrow, can we address the real issue of opiates today? Its time to stop making the disabled feel like we are begging for a painkiller.

    Recommended Reading: Can I Go To Emergency Room For Back Pain


    Most Popular